Reckless cautiousness

“Scientists should be much braver […] I think this ethics argument – should they speak or shouldn’t they – is a lot of nonsense. Scientists cannot promise certainty any more than economists can when they call for changes in taxes or interest rates. Uncertainty is part of the human condition. Caution, in any case, may in reality be recklessness.” – Crispin Tickell

3 Responses to “Reckless cautiousness”

  1. Cheryl E. Fitzgerald says:

    Yes, exactly!
    It is frightening to me how critical and skeptical the general public will be at times toward scientists, while at the same time failing to be critical and skeptical of so many other people making claims about this or that. Somewhere along the way, the layperson, of particularly the U.S., has gotten the crazy idea that he knows more about [the] science[s] and the practices of [the] science[s] than the scientists do. I blame Kuhn. 😉
    I’m stealing this quote, by the way, to post on my blog. I’ll credit you. 🙂

  2. Jelte says:

    Yes.

    Not sure if your playfully pointed finger at Kuhn is fair, though. I would rather blame ‘The Media’, whose very existence rides on the ability to manufacture Controversy out of Science, no matter how close the Convergence upon Consensus.

  3. Darrell says:

    > Scientists cannot promise certainty any more than economists can when they call for changes in taxes or interest rates. Uncertainty is part of the human condition.

    That’s why people become skeptical when the same scientists trumpet, “The science is settled, the debate is over. Do what we say without arguing, DENIER.”

    Well, they used to say that until the truth forced its way out.

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